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Escaping Into Romance
Finding Time to Read Again
I've always been a reader, but during those college and baby years, fiction got set aside for work, diapers, and general chaos. As a teen, I remember immersing myself in science fiction and classic literature. It wasn't until I was pregnant with my second baby, and I was put on bed rest, that I re-discovered reading for pleasure again.
To be honest, I felt guilty reading for hours when there was so much to be done, but I was forced to stay in bed due to a complicated pregnancy, and I finally accepted my fate. My three-year-old daughter was great at entertaining herself as long as she was on the king-sized bed with me along with a few bins of her favorite toys.
I vividly remember the first book I read during my forced vacation. My mom sent me She Who Remembers, by Linda Lay Schuler. To this day, I love that book. Once my son was born, my reading time dwindled again, but the flame had been rekindled and I started to find time for my escape into other worlds.
Discovering Romance Novels
I admit, I thought romance novels were corny and full of light reading. I'd heard of Harlequin and other stories that sounded like silly, overdone, repetitive, fairy tales. Thanks to my mom and my husband, I discovered the really good ones. First, my mom gave me a bag of books to read, which I took, knowing I wouldn't read them. Then we went camping, and my hubby, an avid reader, was desperate for a new book. I told him about my bag in the car and he decided to give it a try.
ARE YOU KIDDING ME? My husband told me I HAD to read this book he read. My husband...the sweet but macho construction dude is telling me to read a romance novel. By the way, I can thank my mom for turning him onto to this genre, and possibly inspiring him to new romantic heights.
So, once the kids were in their tent, I turned on my book light and began to read. I wish I could remember the name of that book. It was light green, with gold writing, and set in Scotland. The woman was kidnapped and taken to a castle...of course! It was a thick book, and I loved it. After that, I explored many different sub-genres of romance, and became hooked.
A List of Great Romance Novels
Ha. You thought you'd find a great list here, but I just can't narrow it down enough to fit in one hub. I would like to start a hub, or group of hubs listing my favorites, but I'm sure it's been done. I can say that I am learning to use Goodreads (www.Goodreads.com) to find lists of books and reviews. I also follow reviews on Amazon and Audible.
I know some people that don't like listening to books, but I love it. I've had jobs that were somewhat mindless, to the the point that my brain hurt. That's when I discovered Audible and audio books. I now listen on long drives and when doing housework. (The housework thing doesn't happen that often, as now reading and writing rate much higher on my priority list.)
My favorite genre changes as I go through phases and find new authors. I've enjoyed many historical romance novels, but now I lean toward paranormal romance, romantic suspense, and sci-fi romance. As long as the characters are believable, and the is enough plot to keep my interest, I'll give it a try. My newest discovery (I know I'm late to the table on this one) is the "Black Dagger Brotherhood Series." It seems to be a favorite of so many that I decided it was time for me to check it out. I'll let you know what I think, but so far I'm liking it.
My Newest Adventure - Writing
Now that I've babbled about my love for reading, the next step might seem obvious. I decided to write my own romance novel. Sometimes I just want a certain character to do a certain thing, and the author doesn't agree. So more than ten years ago, I wrote my first novel. It took me a while to discover publishing on Kindle, and now I've written two more. The process of writing is even more fun than reading. I love letting the story tell itself. I'm not a fan of the editing process, so if anyone wants to read something for free, and send me back the edits, let me know. :)
The video to the right is my first attempt at making a book trailer for paranormal romance, Dangerous Prey.
Every time I finish a book, I have to decide whether to write a sequel, or another separate story. I have so many stories in my head trying to get out, I can't imagine ever facing writer's block.
If you've ever considered writing something yourself, just do it!! I know it seems difficult, and many who try get stuck and never get to write those satisfying last words...The End. I did that for years, but then I discovered the trick to completing my work. Just keep going. When I'm stuck, I put it down, and then pace or think or do something different. But now I always go back to it, because once I do, I can get the ball going again. Some days I write one more sentence. And then maybe one more paragraph. Eventually, things get moving and my fingers can't keep up with the ideas in my head. I'm so glad I've followed my passion and my dream, even if I'm not a top seller yet, I'm having so much fun with the process.
My Newest Romance
Favorite Type of Romance?
What is Your Favorite Type of Romance Novel?
Twilight or Gone With the Wind?
Romance readers come in all different sizes and shapes, and if you get a few of us in one room, we can have some heated discussions about our favorite books. Many people like to make fun of the Twilight Saga, but look how many books have sold. Stephanie Meyer did something right. I like to look at popular books and series and try to decide what made me love them, or hate them, and what made the masses go out and buy so many.
What makes you want more?
Is it a dark, silent hero? A strong man, with a soft heart? The bad boy? Or do only vampires and werewolves do it for you?
I know I've been drawn in by the dark, silent type, but they make me nervous. I'm always waiting to make sure I can trust them. I like the unreachable, unattainable, that is drawn to the woman no one would expect. :)
Sometimes I start out writing with one of the above stereotypes in mind, but my characters tend to assert themselves at some point and I have no choice but to follow their lead. That's one of the joys of writing. Watching a character you created become so much deeper and richer than you'd ever imagined. I'm new at the writing game, but I plan to continue until I get to write all the characters in my head, and get their stories out to the world. Actually, I just want to get to know them myself, but once I'm done, I might as well share.
Give Indie Books a Try
Did you know that more and more authors are going the independent route now? It used to be that you had to beg and hope for an agent or publisher to grab your book off the slush pile. Of course, many of the top authors will stay with the big publishing companies, because it works for them.
Many authors today are deciding they aren't happy with the small percentage they are given after the book is sold and everyone else is paid. The author is the one putting their heart and hard work into the writing, so why shouldn't they benefit the most. More known authors are publishing their own books on Kindle and reaping bigger profits, and getting to know their fan base even better.
Take some time to look up some of your favorite authors and check them out on Facebook and Twitter. Even if they are still going through traditional publishing routes, most authors are becoming more aware of social media and being available to their fans. It's fun to connect and sometimes you even get a say in a name or place for the next story.
Feel free to connect with me on the links listed at the top right. I'll follow back if you're a lover of books, a writer, or at least a real person. :)
One Last Thought on Writing
Are you an aspiring writer. I'd like to leave you with a name that will inspire you to go for it. Hugh Howey. His name has become known because he wrote a series and published it on Kindle and then ended up with a huge book deal. I don't think I'd ever go the route of traditional publishing, because fame has it drawbacks, but it shows that self-publishing is possible and profitable.
I haven't read his work yet, but maybe I should. The first book is called Wool. I'll leave a link for you to check it out.
Follow your dreams and keep reading. I plan to keep reading, and writing. My muse has come back and she's here to stay. :)